Korean-Australian diplomatic relations extend all the way back to the Korean civil war of the early 1950s. In response to a UN resolution to end hostilities, Australia sent troops to support their South Korean counterparts against the Soviet-backed North Koreans. Troops stayed an additional four years to ensure a peaceful transition, and since then, the two countries have shared an interwoven social and economic history.
Those looking to send Korean Won (KRW) to Korea can get a lot more value for money when using a dedicated money transfer service. This is because these services process a larger volume of transfers than a regular bank, and therefore can secure you a more competitive margin and fees. You can compare some of these services below.
Send money to Korea with OFX
OFX (Ozforex) International Money Transfers
Large range of currencies
Online and phone transfers
Regular payments available
Send money to Korea with OFX
$0 transfer fees for Finder customers.
No-maximum limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies. No transfer fee over AUD$10,000.
Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.
Banks vs money transfer companies or services
How you choose to send money to Korea depends on what you need from the transfer service. Whether you’re looking to save on transfer fees or if speed is a top priority, choosing the right service means carefully considering the pros and cons before making a choice. Most people consult their banks first to see which transfer services they offer their customers. In most cases, banks do international money transfers, but they’re strict about how much they allow you to send, and may have inferior rates and high fees. An online banking service like Westpac offers its customers online and telegraphic transfers to recipients’ bank accounts or for pick-up at an agency. If you’re looking for a combination of low to zero transfer fees and no limit on the sending amount, you may be better off with a money transfer service like Western Union or MoneyGram. Transfers are instantaneous and they have branches all over South Korea. That said, it’s still a good idea to weigh your options.
Mi-Cha sends money home to Korea
Before moving back to Korea, Mi-Cha’s mother helped her brother open a restaurant in Sydney. Mi-Cha stayed to pursue her studies in economics and then joined the restaurant’s staff as the resident accountant. Before transferring her mother’s share of the profits to Korea every few months, Mi-Cha compares exchange rates, transfer fees and delivery time.
Money Transfer Company
1 AUD = 718.83 KRW
1 AUD = 787.99 KRW
Up to 2 days
Online transfer, overseas telegraph transfer
Account to account, cash transfer
Amount received for $1,000 (in Korean Won)
By choosing to send funds with the money transfer service, Mi-Cha pays a smaller transfer fee, the money arrives within minutes and her mother receives an additional 60,000 KRW .
How do I compare transfer companies when transferring money to Korea?
Taking the time to compare transfer-service options helped Mi-Cha save on fees, cut down on delivery time and ensure that her mother benefitted from the best possible exchange rate. Before settling on a service, it’s important to consider the following factors:
Exchange rates. Choosing the best possible exchange rate means that your recipient gets more money in their own currency. Make sure that a high exchange rate is not cancelled out by high transfer fees.
Transfer fee. Ideally the service you choose charges little or no transfer fees. Sometimes transfer services will waive the fee if you send a big enough amount.
Transferring within the same bank. Some Australian banks have international branches which may offer free or quick transfers.
Transfer methods. Check whether the service offers online transfers, cash transfers, international cheques - choose the service with the best transfer methods to suit your needs.
Turnaround time. A transfer can be instantaneous or take up to five days to reach its destination. Consider your needs and how urgently your recipient needs the money before making a decision.
Pick-up methods. Consult with your recipient about how they’d like to receive the money: direct deposit into their account or via cash collect at an agency or designated pickup point.
Minimum transfer amounts. Most transfer services are clear about the maximum amount you can send, but they don’t always stipulate whether there’s a required minimum. This isn’t always convenient for people sending small amounts at a time.
Customer service. It’s important that the transfer service’s customer relations staff can assist with any problem you might have with the transfer. They should be easily contactable, whether by email, online chat or direct telephone line.
Whether you’re holidaying in Korea and need cash in a hurry, or a family member needs an emergency transfer, money transfer companies offering delivery within minutes could be your best bet. Despite the urgency, take the time to compare exchange rates and transfer costs - sometimes a quick delivery comes at the price of higher fees. If your bank has a branch close to where you are, simply pop in and explain your situation. In the case of theft or an accident during a holiday, you can claim from your travel insurance, but this may take too much time. If you have an emergency cash replacement linked with your credit card insurance or debit card, you can also utilise that by calling the emergency hotline provided by your bank.
Korea is relatively safe for travellers, but as in any foreign country, it’s important to be vigilant and aware of your surroundings. Foreigners should be particularly aware of the traffic: motorists, taxis and buses drive aggressively. Korean authorities stage civil emergency drills on the 15th of every month, which involves sirens, interrupted traffic and people taking shelter. The rates of violent crime are low in general, but incidents of burglary and purse-snatching still occur in the cities. If you’re collecting cash at an agency, take someone along and be sure to get there during opening hours. Australia’s Smartraveller guide advises ‘normal safety precautions’ when travelling in Korea.
Sending money to Korea can be easy and convenient when you find the right transfer service to suit your needs. Most online services require that you sign on as a member before allowing the transfer. You’ll need to provide your contact details, the amount you’d like to send and the recipient’s account information. Select the transfer method and the pick-up option most convenient for your recipient, and hit send. The transfer service will confirm your transaction with an email. A tracking number helps you keep an eye on your money as it makes it way to your recipient’s account. Thanks to a shared sociopolitical history and the strong Korean presence in Australia today, there are several money transfer services available to send funds to Korea. Varied options allows you to compare rates and fees to find the best combination to suit your transferring needs.
Marc Terrano is the lead publisher of Points Finder and a co-host of the Pocket Money podcast. He was previously a writer and publisher for home loans at Finder. Marc has a Bachelor of Communications (Journalism) from the University of Technology Sydney. He’s passionate about creating honest and simple reviews and comparisons to help Australians get the best value for their money.
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